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Day Ten of Smoke Hole Fire in West Virginia

As of Tuesday, the fire is spread across 1620 acres and is about 70 percent contained. Crews say they'll be focusing on mopping up all burning material with 100 feet of the line and begin initial rehabilitation.
WEST VIRGINIA - Tuesday marks day ten of the Smoke Hole Fire that's been raging along the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District in the Monongahela National Forest. U.S. Forest Service officials say the fire is about 11 miles southwest of Petersburg, and three miles northeast from the community of Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County. 

As of Tuesday, the fire is spread across 1620 acres and is about 70 percent contained. 

As we've reported the Smoke Hole fire started Sunday, November 10, 2013. Officials say crews held all fire lines Monday despite strong, erratic winds in the afternoon. They say a total of 15 miles of handline and 3.5 of bulldozer fire line have been construction during the suppression of the fire. Crews Tuesday say they'll be focusing on mopping up all burning material with 100 feet of the line and begin initial rehabilitation. 

According to U.S. Forest Service officials, preparations are underway to turn the fire over to a smaller type incident management team. 

Currently, an emergency closure order is still in effect on national forest system lands in the following areas: 

  • Redman Run Trail from the North Fork Mountain Trial to Smoke Hole Road/Grant County Road. 
  • National Forest System Lands in Pendleton County between Highway 28/55
  • Pendleton County Road 23 to Eagle Rock
  • NFS lands north of Dry Hollow Creek
  • End of Dry Hollow Creek to the northeast boundary of Seneca Rocks area
  • NFS lands and Seneca Rocks area boundary to the northwest boundary of NFS lands and Seneca Rocks on the Cheat/Potomac Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest
The Smoke Hole fire is currently being managed between the West Virginia Division of Forestry and US DA Forest Service. Officials say additional support is also coming from Franklin, Upper Tract, Seneca Rocks, Morrefield and Petersburg volunteer fire departments. 

U.S. Forest Service officials say no structures have been affected at this time. All individuals are prohibited from entering Federal lands within the Smoke Hole fire closure area unless specifically authorized. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 
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